Laura Peill, Health Content Specialist, @ Article-Writing.co
There is this trend occurring throughout our society right now, defined by sweat-dripping girls in skimpy shorts and sports bras, with abs so ripped the salty fluid can pool in between their muscles. It typically appears as an image in a perfectly crafted gym scene, where there is (conveniently) only the one set of dumbbells (no treadmills at your gym?). Or alternatively, she’s running in nature, down the most idyllic trail with leaves scattered in all of the right places.
First off, I don’t really want to see a dolled up picture of someone that sweaty, thanks. Secondly, is this type of imagery really getting you business? Is it driving conversions and bringing people to your site who stay, read your content, and choose your health and wellness services? Maybe. But chances are you need more than that. Chances are, it is getting in the way of your success instead of creating your success. Here’s why:
Perpetuates the Issue of Why you Don’t Get Clients
Let’s break this down: the purpose of creating content for your online platform is to expose you and your business to the market. By putting your content out there, it (hopefully) reaches new potential clients who read it and then (hopefully) contact you for your services.
But when the images you associate your content with are those of ripped models whom the majority of us will never look like, those new clients you were able to draw in suddenly stop coming to you. Instead, they think, “I don’t look like that picture that I saw that made me come here in the first place, and I think I’ll leave now.”
The missing link here, isn’t about whether an individual can or cannot look a certain way, it’s about whether you are publishing content that portrays whether you are selling a quick fix or a long-term solution; then how that content matches up to what your customers want and what you are actually offering.
External Aesthetics Only Go So Far
Olympic athlete and Ironman Chris Hauth says it best: “stay healthy, stay motivated, and be positive.” There is no part in there that says “stay looking a certain way.” Aesthetic success, reaching a goal to embody specific visual features or pushing forward until, “I lose that last little bit around my waist,” is not the answer to long-term success that can be replicated and maintained – and your customers are savvy enough to recognize that.
Aesthetic goals are only part of the equation. The other part? Targeting mindset.
By this, I mean creating an internal fitness and healthy motivation dialogue that segues into success; the need to minimize those internal, self-sabotaging negative thoughts, and the ability to rise above and push for something more. Fitspo images don’t tell your clients about this part.
This is where your responsibility to your clients and your business comes in: you need to create content that reflects that there is more involved in a wellness approach and adopting a healthy lifestyle than what you see on the outside.
The nutritional component and mindset component play a big role in clients’ success, and it is hard to portray the comprehensive complexity of all of the factors of the equation when you are only showing one – the aesthetics and outward appearance.
You can’t Build a Business on Undeliverable Promises
Let’s be serious, not everybody can look like the pictures. Whether it is the impact of genetics or lifestyle, or the fact that our body and metabolism changes with age – the images just aren’t going to happen.
Most people realize this and the issue instead is where to even start on a journey that seems as if it has no visual end point. This is especially the case for customers starting out who are new to the whole health and wellness thing and are unfamiliar with what they are going to go through.
As Dan Harris says, when it comes to starting something new, “the issue isn’t that we don’t know about it or are naïve to it, the issue is that we are intimidated by it and don’t know where to start.”
Your clients are intimidated by the fitspo images. They know they probably can’t look like that and that that is an unreasonable level to attain. Couple that with the fact that they are already anxious because they are starting something new, and they just clicked off your site, pressed exit, delete, clear history, done.
There is No Strategic Retention Plan
Let’s say they see past all of the fitspo, they like the content you are producing and they come to you as a new customer. If they are after a quick fix, and you provide it, and the interaction is done, so be it. But ultimately, isn’t the point of your business to build customer loyalty and have clients that stay on with you for the long-term?
If so, what happens after they look like what the image shows that you are promoting? Using fitspo images implies that looking like that is the goal, and that once it is achieved, that’s the end of the business relationship.
But really, what you want is for them to stay on so you can continue to be in business. Give them a reason to stay. Take an approach with your content that offers to support them through a lifestyle and long-term solution rather than a once-and-done option. Once they stay, continue to create content and offer services that keep them coming back and waiting for more. And most importantly, that allows you to stay in business.
What Should I Do Instead?
Here’s the thing: we need to start getting real. I don’t mean like post the worst selfie you have ever taken, hair disheveled, in three day old mismatching clothes – but just a real, honest image of what it looks like to do what you do. The daily grind of what it looks like to push yourself past hurdles and obstacles that get in the way of trying to fit your run in. The struggle of finding the time to cook healthy food amidst a to-do list that is a mile long, a job, social life, family, and the pile of laundry that seems to build exponentially.
“But that’s not what people want,” you are saying. It’s not? People want to know it is possible. People want to know that what you are offering and what you can provide for them is an achievable, possible outcome. Otherwise, why would they buy your service, read your content, or continue to care about you?
We care about things we can connect with and perceive as being applicable to ourselves that can offer some value to us. When the image we see and what it implies as an outcome, is something incredibly unreasonable or even impossible, we dismiss it and ultimately choose not to care about it or let ourselves focus on it – we don’t want to dwell on what we can’t be.
As a business, it’s about giving your reader something they can relate to and connect with, on a level where they feel like they could start making progress.
It comes down to you being a point of difference in an overfilled, saturated pool of unrealistic fitspo, that is making everyone feel bad about themselves instead of wanting to improve themselves. “Fitspo is a beauty ideal masquerading as a health ideal,” says Lindsay Kite, Ph.D., co-director of Beauty Redefined. And that’s not the content want your blog to share.
Your blog is more than just a fitspo board. Be bigger than the fitspo.
If these points resonate with you, and you are ready to commit to better content for your blog and your business, reach out! We specialize in writing quality content and we can create the words to show your customers the true value of your business.
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